Skip to main content

Notifiable Diseases and Laboratory Reporting

Statutory notifications

Under the Infectious Diseases Regulations, 1981 (as amended), medical practitioners and clinical directors of diagnostic laboratories are required to transmit notification of cases of infectious disease to a medical officer of health. These notifications are forwarded by the HSE areas to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) who collate, analyse and report on the data. Access HPSC reports 

The list of notifiable diseases laid down in the 1981 Regulations has been amended through the years. On 1st January 2004, a revised list was established, and the requirement for laboratory directors to report infectious disease was introduced (S.I. No. 707 of 2003). This amendment was a major step forward in the surveillance of infectious diseases in Ireland. It also introduced a significant change to the reporting procedures for food- and water-borne illness. As of 1st January 2004, reports of food- and water-borne illness are specified individually, (e.g., Campylobacter infection, cryptosporidiosis, listeriosis, staphylococcal food poisoning). Previously they were reported under only two categories: salmonellosis (other than typhoid or paratyphoid), or food poisoning (bacterial other than salmonella). The amendment also introduced the use of case definitions for infectious diseases, which were drawn up in line with standardised European case definitions.

Notifications in 2004 - 2007

The HPSC is responsible for the collation and analysis of notifications of cases and outbreaks of infectious diseases, including those that can be transmitted by food or water. A summary of notifications of cases of infectious disease that can be transmitted by food or water is provided below, however full reports are available from the HPSC website

Notifications of cases of infectious disease, with the potential to be transmitted via food or watera (2004-2008).

Disease

2004

2005

2006

2007    

2008b         

Acute infectious gastroenteritis

1,898

2,398

2,306

2,520

4,186c

Bacillus cereus

1

0

0

0

0

Botulism

0

0

1

0

7

Brucellosis

60

53

29

28

3

Campylobacter infection

1,710

1,801

1,812

1,891

1,752

Cholera (Vibrio cholerae)

0

0

0

0

0

Clostridium perfringens

5

1

0

0

1

nv Creutzfeldt Jakob disease

0

2

1

0

0

Cryptosporidiosis

431

568

367

609

416

Echinococcosis

0

0

0

0

2

Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli

67

134

174

192

241

Giardiasis (Giardia lamblia)

53

57

65

62

71

Hepatitis A (acute)

47

56

39

32

42

Listeriosis

11

12

7

21

13

Noroviral infection

1,125

1,045

1,635

1,317

1,776

Paratyphoid (Salmonella paratyphi)

4

0

1

4

7

Salmonellosis

416

347

422

456

449

Shigellosis

56

36

54

43

75

Staphylococcal food poisoning

3

6

0

0

1

Toxoplasmosis

33

45

44

49

64

Trichinosis

0

0

0

2

1

Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis)

3

4

5

5b

Not yet available

Typhoid (Salmonella typhi)

5

5

9

9

6

Yersinosis

6

3

1

6

3

aSome of these diseases can be transmitted by routes other than by food or water

b Provisional data

cAIG notifications for 2008 cannot be compared to previous years as, from May 2008, cases of toxin-producing Clostridium difficile became notifiable under this category

 

(Source HPSC)

View graph of most frequently notified diseases, with the potential to be transmitted by food or water 2004-2008 

Voluntary Laboratory reporting

In addition to statutory notifications, data on laboratory confirmed infections from local hospitals are collected on a voluntary basis by public health specialists. Salmonella data are collected by the National Salmonella Reference Laboratory (NSRL). These data are sent to Enter-net, an EU funded project for the surveillance of salmonellosis and E. coli O157 in Europe. Enhanced surveillance of E. coli O157 is currently being carried out by the HPSC. The HPSC also request Departments of Public Health and laboratories to provide disaggregated information on all laboratory-confirmed cases of campylobacteriosis diagnosed.

View NSRL Annual Reports 

CIDR

Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) was developed to manage the surveillance and control of infectious diseases in Ireland, and to monitor antimicrobial resistance. CIDR is a web-based system that allows information from laboratories to be entered electronically or manually. This information is then linked to clinical and epidemiological information, provided by public health professionals. All CIDR information is protected by appropriate security and confidentiality mechanisms, so on-line access to the information in CIDR is controlled allowing personally identifiable information to be visible only to those with a need to manage the individual case. CIDR has a powerful reporting tool which allows easy web access to standard reports. CIDR is a shared national information system for CIDR partners: Health Service Executive; HPSC; FSAI; safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board; and Department of Health and Children.